My book is called “A Recipe for Success Using SAS, University Edition, how to plan your first analytics project.” So the premise of the book is to walk you through how to use SAS, basically introduces you to SAS University Edition if you’ve never used it before and then walk you through some basic PROC steps that will allow you to take data that you have collected or something that’s important to you, so a good example might be I’m doing quite a bit of work with the Girl Scouts, and we would like to know how many boxes of cookies the girl scouts are selling or how an individual is selling. We’re collecting data, on how many boxes of cookies each person sells, and we’ll be putting that into SAS to run some analysis. But the book walks you through some examples of different ideas or data that is in your everyday life that you might be able to use for analysis, to get you introduced to the concept and then walk you through the procedures and how to apply it.

Female speaker

So we’re recording. So Dr. Jones could you please tell us about your career path, and any publications or professional accomplishments you’d like to mention?

Dr. Sharon Jones

Sure. Thank you so much for having me on today. My career path really starts as a K-12 educator. I grew up here in Charlotte, North Carolina and I really thought I was going to do opera, I mean taught communications, and I thought I was going to do something on radio, and I went to school, and I ended up deciding that I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. And so, my roots are really in education and so ended up working on my master’s degree in education and business and had the opportunity to take a programming class, which I had never done before, and I was really proud of myself because I ended up being able to solve the problem which was like “bulbon” Iike I would say. And that sort would have been the beginning of my career. I started teaching in Apex North Carolina and taught in the IT Academy Apex High School which was a part of the National Academy Foundation which is a national foundation to help propel students in esteemed careers and then move back home here Charlotte, and I taught at Philip O Berry and so that is where I ended up beginning to be introduced to SAS. I was working on my Doctorate at the time, and SAS was a part of our analysis, and so from that, I was like Oh my gosh! I actually really enjoyed this, it’s pretty cool. You know, I can understand the process that SAS would provide as far as the procedural statements which were very simple to understand, and I could comprehend them easily. And I say that because for me technology is not something that came naturally, I’m not a technology native, I’ve grown to be able to understand it. So, I started teaching SAS to high school students in 2008, and that’s kind of how I’ve ended up where I am now. I’ve just ended up being able to apply what I understand as my everyday life to data analysis.

Female speaker

Wonderful. So can you propose three valuable tips or strategies that are necessary to become a top SAS Programmer?

Dr. Sharon Jones

The first thing I would say is you need to know your data; before you can even start doing any kind of analysis in SAS, you need to understand the data and what it is that you are trying to solve. And I am a big proponent of understanding what the data is, and then writing an algorithm or the steps that you want to take in order to solve the problems. So what is the true question you are trying to answer? What does the data look like and how can we begin to put that together to start your analysis ? Because in my opinion the analysis part is actually the easiest part; the coding part, you can learn that very easily, the syntax but understanding and comprehending what you trying to solve is more important. The top things to become a top SAS Programmer: 1 is understand your data; 2, understand the basic analysis ,for instance being able to go through and sort your data bring it out, highlight certain variables that we need to work or drop certain variables if you need to. And then third is to continue your education, so be it top SAS program or you have to continuously educate yourself. So take part in the SAS free tutorials they offer, read up on the white keepers, stay involved in the data analysis community.

Female speaker

Beautiful! Nice response, I think that’s going to be very helpful to the listeners. So thank you. What is your favorite SAS procedure and why?

Dr. Sharon Jones

This is going to sound a little bizarre, but I actually use the By-Group processing procedure which is really not the most complex, but I get a lot of data that I have to really cipher through to figure out, like I have multiple records, or I have… well multiple records are really what it is. And so being able to go through and sort it, and group it and export it is really important because it helps me be able to solve whatever the problem that I’m trying to solve much easier as I’m able to group my information. It’s not particularly a very complex program, but it’s one of my favorites. Oh and PROC FREQ I mean I love a good PROC FREQ I mean who doesn’t.

Female speaker

[Laughter] OK. OK perfect. So do you have any closing words?

Dr. Sharon Jones

You know I think, this is the way I view it and the reason why I even wrote my book was, we can get overwhelmed by the idea of analysis and data and what does it all look like, and I think what you really have to encompass or think about in your everyday life is how am I personally using data every day? And start small. So try not to be overwhelmed by a big problem but start with smaller problems and work your way up to solve the bigger concepts. So, for me, I think it’s finding some of the relatives to use; for instance, if you work in the community and you just want to know some basic answers to how many cans of food you’re collecting for your food drive that’s where I would start. And use what you already know, if you already know a certain data analysis tool like Excel, use it and then grow your skill set to SAS or another option that may be out there. But understanding what’s relative to you will help you begin to embrace this wide world of data and then take the peculiar interest to start doing more.

Female speaker

Okay great. But you mentioned a book that you wrote. What is that book and what is it about?

Dr. Sharon Jones

Yes. So my book is called “A Recipe for Success Using SAS, University Edition, how to plan your first analytics project.” So the premise of the book is to walk you through how to use SAS, basically introduces you to SAS University Edition if you’ve never used it before and then walk you through some basic PROC steps that will allow you to take data that you have collected or something that’s important to you, so a good example might be I’m doing quite a bit of work with the Girl Scouts, and we would like to know how many boxes of cookies the girl scouts are selling or how an individual is selling. We’re collecting data, on how many boxes of cookies each person sells, and we’ll be putting that into SAS to run some analysis. But the book walks you through some examples of different ideas or data that is in your everyday life that you might be able to use for analysis., to get you introduced to the concept and then walk you through the procedures and how to apply it.

Female speaker

Alright. Great. Beautiful. Well thank you, thank you very much for your time and your expertise. I think it will be very valuable, so we really appreciate it.

Dr. Sharon Jones

Thank you for the opportunity. And you can find my book on Amazon or on SAS.

#SAS #BigData #DataScience #MachineLearning #SAScommunities #SASusers #SASGrid #analytics #SASsoftware

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